Alleged purchases of Amazon shares: updates

Fake Amazon investments, the company recommends Consob anti-scam presidiums

Amazon, as part of its ongoing commitment to protect customers, has published on its Italian website, in the 'Help and Customer Service' section, an invitation to make use of the resources made available by Consob as an additional tool to protect themselves against financial scams. These include, for example, alleged investment proposals, the subject of a recent Consob notice, which illegally exploit the reliability of the Amazon brand and ask for sums of money or payment information from savers.

The initiative is part of the broader framework of customer awareness and protection activities by the well-known e-commerce company. Indeed, Amazon has long been committed to sharing tools and resources with its customers to identify and avoid fraudulent activities that, while taking place outside of Amazon, illegally exploit its brand. Among the most recent initiatives was an informative email shared with all customers in late July, in which the company shared some useful and practical tips, including a solicitation to contact Consob to defend themselves against fraudsters who, over the phone, through portals or other channels - posing as "Amazon financial services" - were asking for customers' payment details to "invest" in its shares or other alleged business opportunities.

Regarding these fraudulent activities, it is useful to remember that Amazon has already clarified that: "Scammers attempting to impersonate Amazon put our customers and our brand at risk. Although these scams take place outside of our online store, we will continue to invest in protecting our customers and informing the public about scam prevention. We encourage our customers to report suspected scams to us so that we can protect their accounts and refer wrongdoers to law enforcement. Visit our help pages to find more information on how to identify and report scams."

Amazon also urges people to turn to Consob as a "resource for verifying whether the company or domain is legitimate and authorized," by checking in the Investment firms page on Consob’s website the list of companies licensed to provide investment services in Italy, and also using the Watch for Scams! page for more tips on how to defend themselves.

In a Communication of last 31 October, Consob had already warned savers of the risks associated with investment proposals that, unduly leveraging on the notoriety of the Amazon brand, envisage unrealistic earning opportunities related to an alleged Amazon stock purchase. These proposals, the subject of advertising campaigns promoted by unidentified parties through the Internet and telephone, are scams, as they are not really traceable to Amazon and are aimed at acquiring personal data and/or sums of money from users.

Amazon's 'Help and Customer Service' page gives examples of the most common scams and offers tips.

Investment scams

  • Scammers contact customers posing as Amazon Financial Services, urging them to provide their payment and billing information in order to "invest" in Amazon shares or "business opportunities" that promise high returns in a short time.

    In this regard, the company represents that "Amazon will never push you to invest in or buy equity in a company. We will not ask you to provide payment information for products or services over the phone. Never accept an offer to purchase an investment product that you did not solicit yourself."

Scams about contests/presumed lotteries

  • Scammers contact customers pretending to be Amazon and tell them they have won a prize in a contest. The scammers then ask customers for their personal information and payment of a "shipping or handling" fee in order to receive the prize or collect the winnings.

    In this regard, the company represents that "Amazon will not ask you to provide payment information for products or services over the phone. Never make a payment/share payment information with someone who claims you have won a prize from a contest in which you did not participate."

Here are some important tips Amazon provides to detect scams and protect customers' accounts and their data:

  1. Rely on Amazon-owned channels. Always refer to the Amazon mobile app or website when you want to reach customer service or seek technical assistance, or when you want to make changes to your account.
  2. Be wary of false urgency. Scammers may try to create a sense of urgency to persuade you to do what they are asking. Be careful whenever someone tries to convince you that you must act without delay.
  3. Never make payments over the phone. Amazon will never ask you to provide payment information over the phone for products or services, including gift cards (or "verification cards," as some scammers call them).
  4. Verify links first. Legitimate Amazon websites in Italy contain "". Go directly to the website to request assistance with Amazon devices/services, with orders, or to make changes to your account.

If you receive communications (calls, messages, or emails) that you think are not from Amazon, the company recommends reporting them at the "Report Something Suspicious" link.

Amazon recommends, then, that you visit the Communications Center on its website to check for official contact emails. For more information on how to secure online connections, Amazon also recommends that consumers consult the "Legal Area, Security and Privacy" section on the Amazon Customer Service page.

21 September 2023